This 2-Ingredient Dip Blows Everyone Away Each Time I Serve It

And it takes one minute of hands-on time to make.

two-ingredient cheese dip

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Remember one of 2021’s biggest TikTok food trends, baked feta pasta? The recipe launched countless copycats, including our favorite (admittedly, we’re a little biased): Baked Pimento Cheese Pasta. As a huge fan of all things cheesy, saucy, and carb-centric, I was sold on the concept even before my first bite of this buzzy dinner idea.

After that initial trial, though, I couldn’t help but wonder why feta was the fromage of choice. In my opinion, its texture is far better-suited for recipes like Blistered Cherry Tomatoes with Red Pepper-Feta Spread and Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad Recipe than a melted method. 

But I was hooked on the general idea so much that I kept brainstorming variations on the theme that would check three boxes:

  1. Better meltability.
  2. Year-round recipe success, since fresh tomatoes aren’t exactly the tastiest in the middle of winter.
  3. Increased snackability, because who can ever have enough options for between-meal noshes?

I took a tour of my pantry staples and refrigerator stock, and the idea came to me within minutes: Baked Goat Cheese Marinara Dip. It’s as easy as one, two…there’s not even a three. That is, unless you want to up the ante.

To make this easy dip recipe:

  1. In a shallow baking dish, spread a softened 8-ounce log of plain or herb goat cheese, and top it with a jar of marinara (about 2 cups).
  2. Bake in a 375°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and the marinara is bubbling.
2-ingredient dip

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

That’s it! You can be done now, and scoop it up with crostini, pita wedges, carrots, bell pepper slices, or cucumber coins.

Or you can raise the bar by trying one of these garnishes or meal-makers. As you can tell, this 2-ingredient recipe has been such a hit with my friends and family, we’ve recreated this and reinvented it almost as many times as TikTok-ers have feta pasta-ed!

  • Herb it up. After baking—but prior to devouring—shower the top of the Baked Goat Cheese Marinara Dip with fresh basil or oregano.
  • Call in the spices. A dash of everything bagel seasoning is an almost-instant upgrade that adds so much garlicky flavor.
  • Drizzle on some sweet heat. After you remove the baking dish from the oven, finish the dip with a generous pour of hot honey.
  • Pair it with pasta. To give a nod to the feta pasta that inspired it all, toss it with a box of cooked short-cut pasta. Add roasted vegetables, caramelized onions, or sautéed mushrooms, if desired.
  • Put an egg on it. For a brunch twist, add a jammy egg after baking. Or bake the dip for 10 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven, crack a couple eggs on top, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the yolks are cooked to your desired level. 
  • Try it pizza-style. Mini pepperonis or cooked, crumbled sausage makes each bite better, according to my taste testers who are pizza parlor devotees. 
  • Savor spaghetti and meatballs, minus the pasta. In a separate vessel, bake or fry a small batch of meatballs, such as our Chicken-Parmesan Meatballs. Once the dip is warm and bubbly, enjoy it by dunking the meatballs in to act as a utensil. Who needs a spoon, fork, or knife?
  • Think fresh. When fresh tomatoes are in season, trade them in. Halve grape or cherry tomatoes to pile on top of the softened goat cheese instead of using marinara.
  • Swap in another sauce. Puttanesca, vodka sauce, bolognese, arrabiata or even pizza sauce—jarred or homemade—is a hit here.
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